- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nike has officially severed ties with eight-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao over recent comments he made against gay people.

“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement Wednesday, TMZ reported. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”

“We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao,” the company added.

Mr. Pacquiao, a Philippines representative who is running for a seat in the senate, sparked a wave of backlash in the country for saying same-sex couples are “worse than animals.”

“It’s common sense,” he said in a video posted on local TV5’s election site. “Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”

The statement provoked a storm of controversy, but Mr. Pacquiao was initially defiant, posting an image of himself with his wife on Instagram. “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desire of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the bible says,” he wrote.

Mr. Pacquiao later added an apology, saying: “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.”

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